Relief tinged with warning

Welcome for Biggar RBS reprieve from Aillen Campbell but  she attacked the Douglas branch closure
Welcome for Biggar RBS reprieve from Aillen Campbell but she attacked the Douglas branch closure

Although relieved at last week’s announcement that the Biggar branch of RBS is to be saved, the town’s Green Party has warned that it might be just a temporary reprieve.

Clydesdale Green campaigner Janet Moxley said this week: “While we welcome RBS’s decision, the review of closure proposals could have been carried out sooner to prevent local concern and distress to people with limited transport and a range of vulnerabilities.

“The forthcoming creation of a Scottish Investment Bank provides a great opportunity for the Scottish Government to take direct responsibility for creating a retail banking operation which puts small customers rather than speculative investment first and treats them as a valued part of the banking system rather than an awkward embarrassment.”

Clydesdale’s SNP MSP Aileen Campbell has suggested that a quicker solution may lie not with Holyrood but with Westminster using its influence with RBS to protect what is left of the rural banking network.

She said recently: “Given Clydesdale has experienced a significant number of bank closures, this has been felt all the more keenly by local businesses and communities here.

“With taxpayers still holding the majority stake in RBS, the Tory UK Government should listen to these concerns and not abandon Scotland’s rural communities,” she said.

She too welcomed the reprieve for the Biggar branch of RBS but expressed deep regret at the confirmation that the Douglas branch is to close.

“RBS’s latest round of proposed closures would have meant only one RBS branch servicing the whole of my Clydesdale constituency – a disproportionate hit for this rural area. While the temporary reprieve for Biggar and Douglas is welcome and while the communities have rallied to do what they can to protect their branches, the UK government would do well to read this latest report, use its influence in terms of halting any further closures, and ensure processes for the future that properly engage people and communities.

“While Johnston Carmichael complete the analysis and recommendations of their view into the RBS branches under the temporary reprieve, I hope the points I have made to them and those from my constituents make this current temporary status more permanent and that Biggar and Douglas can be kept open in the longer term.”

ENDS

Notes

The Committee’s report is available here: https://digitalpublications.parliament.scot/Committees/Report/EJFW/2018/7/3/Bank-closures--impact-on-local-businesses--consumers-and-the-Scottish-economy

Euan Purchase

Office of Aileen Campbell, MSP for Clydesdale

Oifis Aileen Campbell, BPA airson Dhail Chluaidh

01555 750249

euan.purchase@parliament.scot

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